There’s just no “there” there. Like, none.
Unbowed by that absence, Gohmert has plowed onward. And while the legal case is a joke — and that is putting it nicely — it’s worth examining what would happen if Gohmert’s fantasy actually came true, and how distinctly un-conservative it would all be.
So, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Gohmert is successful. And rather than just playing the ceremonial role of president of the Senate on January 6, Pence was empowered to choose which electors are “legal,” which, I suppose, would exclude the electors from states where President-elect Joe Biden won but Trump has falsely suggested there was fraud, like Arizona and Georgia and Pennsylvania.
By doing so, Pence would single-handedly install Trump as president for the next four years. And would set a precedent that the vice president would retain the power to choose the president going forward — no matter what the actual popular vote or Electoral College looked like.
Republicans are the party of shrinking the power of the federal government and empowering state and local government, you’ll remember. Which means that suing the vice president in order to allow him to single-handedly overturn the results of a presidential election should be totally anathema to people who call themselves conservatives or Republicans. Because it would create a federal government that is all-powerful, able to ride over the whims (and votes) of the states.
This wholesale abandonment of fundamental pillars of conservatism in pursuit of making Trump president for four more years, then, isn’t new. But it is a remarkable testament to how far some (many?) Republicans have strayed away from the basic principles of their party in order to worship at the altar of Trump.